There are several important
streets and towns around Cairo. The Kornish El Nile Street,
for instance, is one of the major byways in the city. It
stretches from Shubra and Shubra El Khiema in the north, all
the way to Helwan, the last neighborhood of greater Cairo in
the south. There is also the well-known Street of Salah
Salem, which starts in Heliopolis in the east and terminates
in Islamic Cairo, near the capital’s downtown district.
El Mui'z Li Din Allah had once been the main avenue in
Cairo. It is named in honor of the Fatimid Caliph who ruled
over Cairo in 969 AD and who was responsible for much of
Cairo's building programs during that time. El Mui'z Street
was the main avenue of this era.
Before, people would get to the road via Bab Zuweila
in the south and exit through Bab El Futuhin the
north. Over the centuries several buildings have
been built on this street. Of course, it is no
longer a main avenue in Cairo.
Currently, it is very narrow when compared with more
modern avenues, but it is still one of the most
historical, representing Cairo's biggest open-air
museum of Islamic and medieval monuments.
El Mui'z Street still commences at Bab Zuweila, the
only gate left of the southern walls of Fatimid,
Cairo. The gate itself was not built until the
Mamluk Period, in the 11th century. The Caliph would
watch the annual pilgrimage caravan going to Mecca
from here, and this gate was also infamous as the
place for public execution.
The criminals were executed from the gate's walls. This gate
is named for the tribe that was imprisoned nearby.
Bab Zuweila was also known as
Bab Al Mutawali, which in Arabic is the "gate of the
responsible" because the individual tasked to communicate
the problems of the citizens to the Caliph sat beside this
gate. Next to Bab Zuweila lies the Mosque of Sultan Mu'ayyad,
which was constructed in 1415.
You can climb the
minaret of the mosque through a door in the prayer
hall and get a great view of Islamic Cairo from
Next to Bab Zuweila,
you should go straight along Mui'z Street and
through the Wakala of Ghuri, which is a big market
that solely sells products made of cloth. There are
several shops that sell chromatic pieces of cloth of
different materials. This is aside from the
traditional souvenir and gift shops. This area of
the street is very interesting. Visitors get the
feeling that they are really a part of the Old
Islamic Cairo as they walk between the shops and
hear the loud voices of buyers and sellers.
The Wikala of Al Ghuri is at the end of Al Ghuria.
The word “wikala” means a hostel contructed for
merchants who arrive from Africa in caravans full of
They used to put up in
these hostels, and they used to have a place to sell as
well. Usually, the wikala is a rectangular-shaped building
made up of three to five floors.
The Ghuri Wikala is the
only remaining wikala in Cairo which was constructed in the